Hi. I'm Ned Langman, creator of fungooms.com, a free, online Flash-based website featuring simple games and animated stories for very young children (though I have had many confessions from grown-ups saying they've lost hours playing the games too!). Fungooms has been online for about two years and has gained the affection of many parents and children worldwide.
The Fungooms website offers a gentle and enjoyable learning experience for toddlers. None of the games have scores or penalties for getting things wrong, but there are plenty of rewards for discovering things and working things out.
I grew up watching fantastic shows like Bagpuss, Charlie Brown, Sesame Street, The Moomins, The Clangers etc. When I started having my own children a few years ago, I discovered that, even though I was a grown man, I still liked these shows! I think their appeal was that they didn't talk down to children and parents could enjoy watching them with their kids.
Motivated by an absence of this type of entertainment, I dreamed up The Fungooms, caretakers of a great mystical forest populated by a vast array of strange, wonderful (and funny) creatures. I originally planned it as a series of stories or even a tv show, but breaking into that industry is tough, so I used my knowledge of video games to turn The Fungooms into an online experience.
It has since become a lot more popular than I ever imagined it would, and this has opened up the possibility of bringing Fungooms onto mobile devices.
How you can help support The Fungooms!
I'm looking for your help to kickstart the development of a series of Fungooms apps, starting with the iPad and iPhone, and if that's successful, porting to Android and other devices.
The target money I require will help me to create the first of these. The app will feature games from the website along with games exclusive to the iPad which will make use of all the cool things you can do with the touch screen and accelerometer etc.
More About Me...
Over the last 25 years I have worked as an artist and designer on many published video games including those seen below. I have experience on all the well known consoles and platforms, but my heart belongs to the good old days of gaming when they were inventive, fun, often hilarious and experimental. Last year, I self-financed and published my first iOS app, Space Junk, my personal love letter to retro games!
There's a whole bunch of great Fungooms related goodies available at all pledge levels. These are all totally exclusive to this Kickstarter project. Here's a few of the highlights...
The Fungooms album A signed limited edition copy of the Fungooms album, a collection of new songs and improved versions of favourites from the website. I've been playing this CD in the car to my kids and they love it! You can preview two of the songs below.
Cuddly Toys My wife is furiously knitting a whole bunch of these to give away to our top backers. Don't fear though, you can make your own Beeny, Bodmin or Looe as long as you, (or obliging family member or friend) can knit. We can provide complete kits containing everything you will need or just the pattern if you would prefer.
Multimedia CD I'm going to cram as much Fungooms-related stuff as I can onto this CD. There'll be wallpapers, audio out-takes, and I've also scanned all my sketches and notes that I doodled when coming up with the ideas for Fungooms.
Risks and challenges
My major concern in getting Fungooms onto iOS is the potential scale of work involved. I had the hope of doing an iOS version way back when I first published the Fungooms website, but I've added a lot of content to the site since then, and it's grown way beyond its original design.
It is deceptively large. Despite having lots of simple looking games, there is a lot of variety. Each mini game poses it's own quirky challenges. It has taken me almost three years and many tears to develop what you see there now!
I had a few quotes on the cost of porting the entire content to iPad, and it was way beyond what I could afford. Even with a Kickstarter campaign, it is unlikely that I will raise the amount needed to convert the whole website. Another issue is that I am constantly adding content to the site, so even if it was ported in its entirety now, by the time the app came out, there would be lots more content on the site not featured in the app.
The structure of the website lends itself to an elegant solution. As the games are divided into sections devoted to each character, I've decided to produce a series of Fungooms apps, some free and some modestly priced, each app being based around one character.
I am seeking funding then, to develop an app based around one of the most popular characters. At the moment, it's a close competition between Bodmin and Beeny, but I welcome opinions from potential backers on which character would be best to do first.
My long term hope is that once the first app is out there, it will facilitate the development of further Fungooms apps and maybe even help me realise the ultimate dream to grow the Fungooms brand, publish children's books, and even create a pitch for a tv show!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)